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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Neil Young Concert Reviews - Knoxville, TN, May 27, 2010

"Down by the River" by Neil Young, Knoxville, TN, May 27, 2010

A rather unusual affair in Knoxville last night.

From | Neil Young draws crowd at Knoxville show despite high ticket prices : Music : by Wayne Bledsoe:
When music legend Neil Young performed a solo show Thursday night for the first time in Knoxville, the crowds came out.

A few were dismayed by the high ticket prices ($224, $124, $94 and $74), but even the man protesting the show carrying a sign that included the words “Ordinary people can only hear words … between the lines of greed” (all words from Young songs) for its message, wasn’t entirely angry.

“I’ve listened to and loved Neil Young forever, but I feel like the prices are outrageous,” said Bernard Shuck. “With the average wage scale in Knoxville, ordinary people who want to see Neil Young cannot possibly see him at these prices.”

Shuck wanted to make sure people understood that he was only protesting the prices, not the content of the show. In fact, he wanted to make sure that people know how much he loves Young’s music.

“Neil Young has kept me going at times when I had little else; he buoyed me up,” he said.

Ted Heinig, vice president of concerts for AC Entertainment, which promoted the show at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium, said the company had tried to make several different ticket prices so that more fans could attend the show.

Traditionally, artists give concert promoters a price that they are willing to play for, and then the promoters must figure out how to price the tickets to meet that guarantee.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see Neil Young in your hometown,” said Heinig.

Daniel Federer of Maryville sprung for the $124 tickets and didn’t feel cheated.

“I’m just glad to be here to see an American icon, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing the rest of the crew in September,” said Federer, nodding to a poster announcing the Crosby, Stills and Nash upcoming performance in Knoxville.

Cathy and Jim Zarchin of Knoxville had both seen Young several times in other cities and didn’t think the price was an issue.

“He’s in that pantheon when you think of all that great music from 1968 to ’72 — The Beatles, The Band, Springsteen,” said Jim Zarchin.

“The thing I like about Neil Young is he’s stayed consistent, relevant and passionate.”

Neil Young will be performing tonight at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium Knoxville, TN. Special guest Bert Jansch will open concert.

Got a report? Drop a comment below. No registration required.

Check Sugar Mountain for setlist updates. Also, see Song Grid Chart.

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At 5/27/2010 11:35:00 PM, Anonymous JE said...

Just got back from the concert. These are just a few stream of conscious thoughts but a quick back story for context. I am a 30-something fan attending his first Neil Young concert. Neil is my favorite artist and I own almost all his albums -- even Landing on Water! I would describe myself as a big fan but certainly a greenhorn concert goer of Neil's. Here goes...

The concert lasted 1:35 minutes by my count. He opened with an acoustic trio of Hey Hey My My, Tell Me Why, and Helpless and proceeded to play the new stuff on his various electrics. The set list was identical to the other shows, though we didn't get Heart of Gold as an encore, which I read appeared at other shows. The high points for me: Leia, Never Call (the song about his former videographer and friend, I forget the exact title) and I Believe in You on the piano. All of the After the Gold Rush stuff was brilliant. The Leia song was playful and sad, a strange combination.

The low points: the fans were okay, but we were in the balcony and it was maybe 3/4s full. A few idiots yelled for songs ad nauseum all night. Neil even commented about it saying, "He needs to use us as focus group" to figure out which songs to play. I thought some of the songs needed Crazy Horse and they just didn't work solo, like Cinnamon Girl. I also didn't love the arrangement of the setlist, but that was just a taste thing.

Overall I enjoyed myself and will go again. But for one hundred dollar tickets I suppose we would all like to hear, what we want to hear, when we want to hear it. I have no regrets though.

Rust never sleeps,

JE (Knoxville, TN)

At 5/28/2010 01:01:00 AM, Anonymous Nathan said...

I just finished listening to the show. Great quality recording. You can thank my friend Matt once it has been posted somewhere. The show was great and Neil was superb but Knoxville might have some of the biggest loud mouths in America. How rude are some of these goons. Leave your drunk girlfriends at home next time.

At 5/28/2010 01:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got back from the show and thought I would share some quick thoughts. I enjoyed it very much, and it must be the strangest Neil Young show I've seen (going back 20 years). The setlist is just plain weird. But I loved the new songs, especially You Never Call and Leia. Also, I don't think the length of the show is a problem at all, as some have commented on. The audience was mostly great, but these places are so small it only takes 20 or so yahoos to scream and/or yell after Neil finishes every single line in a song (God I hate that shit), and Knoxville had about 50 of them there tonight. I'm really glad Neil was playing new songs because so many people sang along with the classics I could hardly hear him. Neil was great, but he seems to be fighting something off, like a spell or a curse or a sickness--It's hard to explain and slightly uncomfortable to witness. One thing is for sure--this is a once in a lifetime experience. I have a hard time believing Neil will continue to do this experimental show after the Texas shows.

By the way, Bert Jansch was great--Don't come late and miss his set in upcoming shows.

Marvin Hubnucker

At 5/28/2010 02:23:00 AM, OpenID kent said...

would it not be incredibly sublime if jonathan demme and crew were at the ryman to film the twisted road concerts there. . for the third part of the trilogy of the maestro. oh goddess. . how heart fulfilling that would be! i'm a dreamin' man and i love it that way . ..

At 5/28/2010 07:45:00 AM, Blogger Homesick in Paradise said...

Down by the river from last night is on YT

At 5/28/2010 09:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife and I emerged from the short Knoxville concert very disappointed.

Young’s vocals are as good as ever, and his musicality continues to be exemplary. My conclusion, then, is that he was embarrassed by his inability to fill a small venue, and perhaps angry that those who purchased $75 balcony tickets were upgraded free of charge to the $125 floor orchestra seats…and still we couldn’t fill the downstairs auditorium!

In any event his performance seemed self-indulgent, arrogant and dismissive. Obviously, the audience expected a show that would include at least some of his best known and loved songs. He spurned us.
And when members of the audience began to beg vocally, he dismissed them with, “There’re a lot of suggestions out there; maybe we need to form a focus group.”

How does a caring Neil Young present a concert without least some classic touches of “Old Man,” “Like a Hurricane,” “Harvest Moon,” etc.?

The concert was the way my wife and I agreed to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. We were excited. We drove up from Chattanooga, listening to two Young albums in the car, and anticipating listening to two more in the afterglow of the concert while driving home.

Instead, as we emerged from the auditorium after the 1-song encore, we were surrounded by equally irritated fellow concert-goers. Fortunately we found an old Grateful Dead CD in the car, and listened to it on the way home instead. It was a long drive.

RD in Chatt

At 5/28/2010 09:36:00 AM, Anonymous NJ said...

Response to RT in the "Chatt"- Did your wife hold you while you cried like a little girl on the way home?
Next time please stay at home and listen to Neil Young Decade for all your "hits". I actually spoke with your wife this morning and she said she loved the show. She was in a really good mood though.

At 5/28/2010 09:37:00 AM, Anonymous NJ said...


At 5/28/2010 09:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey fellows, i think it's time to stop asking songs of the 70's, thats just the PAST. Now, Neil's got some great new songs, just enjoy them or watch a dvd from the 70s, woodstock from example. Some Neil fans ask him to play the old songs, over and over, evn since 1972. I find them boring and fuddy duddy. Thats not the time to rust dudes, and some new bands are great, for example the black keys

At 5/28/2010 09:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been reading here for days now in anticipation of Spartanburg SC show and I'm amazed at the crying for "hits" not played. All those songs were new at one time as well. These new songs just might be Neil's next "hits". ( though given the state of radio we know that'll never happen.) If you listen to Massey Hall recording of those songs you love you'll hear Neil say... I got bunch of new songs and I don't know what else to do with them but play 'em. I wonder if those people were pissed off too????!!!!!!!

At 5/28/2010 10:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I usually never like to contribute to bickering like this, but a lot of the whining on here is baffling to me. People being disappointed that a Neil Young concert wasn't a family style sing along of his greatest hits? When have they ever been?? Give me a break. All of the disappointed people have been huge fans "since the 70's" or whatever, and yet you're surprised that a Neil concert was challenging. To act like Neil not playing Old Man somehow sullied the memory of your wedding anniversary is pitiful. If you're going to pay a lot of money for a concert, at least stay current on what the artist is doing. Plus, these shows have been going on for over a week and it has been the SAME SETLIST every night. Read the setlists and if it's not your cup of tea, then sell the tickets to someone who wants to go. You could probably even make a few bucks.

I went to the Worcester show and came away totally inspired. I wish I could find a recording of that show (I'm sure it's out there somewhere). I guess we were lucky that night because the audience was the best I've ever seen and he played Heart of Gold at the end. I am very thankful that I got to see Neil unveil his new sound and songs. That Guild with the pickup on it sounds amazing. How many artists at 64 years old are making new sounds like that? His creativity never stops, and that's what I love about him.

There are plenty of feel good, radio hit concerts out there. If that's what you want, then go to one of them, but please don't act like the victim of some greedy tyrant because Neil won't play Pocahontas when you shout it from your seat.

- Dylan

At 5/28/2010 10:23:00 AM, Anonymous Robert Hunter said...

Nathan sounds like the kind of guy who wears a suit to a concert

At 5/28/2010 10:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really sorry for your loss of innocence RD. But maybe it was in time for you to move on. It sure must have been hard if you plan to celebrate your wedding and the one guest you invited acts like he doesn't really care.
Makes me wonder… did your guest of honour realize it was YOU who threw the party?

P. Dees

At 5/28/2010 10:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary RD!

Are you sure we were at the same concert???

No classics? wtf?

I heard Helpless, Ohio, After the Goldrush, Hey Hey My My, Tell Me Why, Down By the River, Cortez Cinnamon Girl (which rocked the house).

Give me a break. Spare us.

Maybe next year go the eagles. They play all their hits from the 70's. Of course, that's all they have b/c they never did anything since.

Unlike NY.


At 5/28/2010 10:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's also not forget that Neil played plenty of greatest hits in Knoxville last night: Cortez, After The Gold Rush, Tell Me Why, Helpless, Cinnamon Girl, Down By The River, My My, Hey Hey, I Believe In You. Those are pretty middle of the road Neil Decade-type hits. I thought the balance between "hits" and new songs was very fair (personally, I'd rather have more new songs).

Marvin Hubnucker

At 5/28/2010 10:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL, these types of forums always intrigue me. They're supposed to elicit a variety of opinions, and instead attract angry diatribes. All of the responses to my entry, except one, make very good points.

Interestingly, you'll find the same dichotomy of opinion when you read the reviews and comments generated by this concert at other venues. I sense it's an "age thang," lol. And in fact I've encouraged my son to see this concert in Atlanta this weekend. And he'll love it.

My point was very simple. I liked the new songs, and new arrangements. But I also would have liked several more of the "classics," which would have extended the concert 5-10 minutes. And there

As to NJ's comment about speaking to my wife, guys be the judge.

But the rest of the feed back is good and well presented. And isn't that what this is about?

RD in Chatt

At 5/28/2010 10:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Dylan: you can find one at Dime a Dozen or here:

I'm listening to it right now, sound quality is great.

The sound and songs Neil puts on in this tour have not gone out of my ears since the opening show. He really is on fire, i've never heard him this way, it feels completely new and even more intense than ever before.

You know, to play this big rock songs alone on electric guitar and also several (very moving) new songs. All of which seem to fit together in sounds and lyrics. Now that's something new!

I find it really awkward to read the comments of people who sound like they better could've bought the Bon Jovi seats someone mentioned here.

You see, this ain't no rock show. It's not even a show. It's real. It's a piece of Neils life we get to hear. WHY do you think he has chosen this format, alone on the edge of the stage? You don't think Neil has been really putting this show together? To play with a loud screaming guitar that begs for a rock 'n roll band? If I look at the YouTube video's it's perfectly clear what impression he gives: here's a man that feels ALONE, a man that has lost people. And he's singing about it right from his heart. If you listen, you can hear him.

If you don't want to hear this pain, please move over to Bon Jovi.

Peter Dees (Holland)

At 5/28/2010 10:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry, this is the Worcester show:


At 5/28/2010 10:56:00 AM, Anonymous Nathan the Robert Hunter said...

You know you liked it Rob.

At 5/28/2010 11:00:00 AM, Anonymous Wine Travel said...

"You see, this ain't no rock show. It's not even a show. It's real. It's a piece of Neils life we get to hear." Peter Dees

Peter, thanks... so well put... you're so right. Saw him in Worcester... amazing. In fact, every Neil show I've been to has been different and all great.

While I loved the entire show, "I Believe in You" and/or "Hitchhiker" alone was worth the ticket price.

Don't understand some of the negative comments. If you're going to an upcoming show... get psyched!

At 5/28/2010 11:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to see Neil in Spartansburg and the only thing I'm really afraid of is that parts of the audience will destroy the evening by shouting and singin' along.

At 5/28/2010 11:21:00 AM, Anonymous Todd said...

I'm going to see Young in Atlanta tomorrow. It appears it's sold out as, when I attempt to see what seats are still available on ticketmaster, it says there aren't any available at any of the price ranges.

I am, however, concerned about the quality of the audience as I read the comments on here. I love the fact that I'll be hearing unreleased/unfamiliar songs by a legendary musician in a solo performance. But, obviously, not everyone gets that.

It's a solo show. A lone artist performance, in my mind, doesn't lend itself to the hooting and hollering that go along with a full band performance. I can hoop and holler with the best of 'em, but not this time. I was kinda hoping the prices (and, yes, I do agree they were more than I would like to have paid), would keep those people away. Maybe Neil was too.

In any case, if you're in Atlanta at the Fox, please be considerate and quiet. And if someone is shouting and being obnoxious, consider telling them to shut-the-fuck-up. I know I will.

At 5/28/2010 11:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Neil,

For blowing my mind'
For blowing my expectations,
but mostly for nourishing my soul.

I will be breathing the same air as you again after many years. See you in Nashville on Tuesday.

Sandy Horne

At 5/28/2010 01:01:00 PM, Blogger Virginian said...

I was there. The show was great. Plenty of hits, plenty of new stuff. The sound was fantastic. The first two songs alone (My My Hey Hey and Tell Me Why) were worth the ticket price. All of the new songs were good and should make for a great new record. From my seat (second tier tickets on the floor) the crowd didn't seem obnoxious. The newspaper article's fascination with the ticket prices was not at all evident at the show... people seemed happy, as they should have been.

At 5/28/2010 01:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see from Pegi,s website, Burt Jansch is doing some dates with her, from 10th June.

At 5/28/2010 01:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's impossible to please everyone in a 90-minute concert. With a career as long and varied as Young's, there's no way a fan is going to hear all his or her favorites. Sure, I would have picked some different songs, but Young was in fine voice and it was a pretty good night that I got to share with my son. Some in the crowd could have been more respectful of Young and their fellow concert-goers.

At 5/28/2010 02:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I was also at that Worcester show, which may appear to be Neil's most enjoyable outing on this tour so far. Here is the Worcester show in mp3... a phenomenal recording and a very respectful, appreciative crowd.


At 5/28/2010 02:29:00 PM, OpenID kent said...

what if. . what if you had tickets to see and hear neil. . and then neil cut out. . . gone in body only. . what if .. what if you didn't get to see and hear neil live. . 64 and there's so much more. . what if .. think about it. how precious this all is. . every moment of this incredible life. . experiance. . the gift keeps giving and giving . . if you are fortunate and have a ticket .. then gives thanks for all you have. . it could vanish tomorrow. what if neil sang these lines. . what if you knew me and found me dead on the ground. . how could you run when you know?

At 5/28/2010 02:39:00 PM, OpenID kent said...

what if . .. what if you had tickets to see and hear neil. .. and then neil cut out. . was gone in body only . . what if. . . you didn't get to see and hear neil after all . . what if. .. 64 and there's so much more. .. think about it. . what an incredible experiance all this all is.. so much creativity.. if you have a ticket. . be thankful. . it can all vanish at any moment. . what if. . . what if neil sang these lines. . . what if you knew me. . and found me dead on the ground.. how could you run when you know.

At 5/28/2010 03:49:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

Kent, nice one!.. I even like the reprise of the comment...very Neilish indeed!

luv doc

At 5/28/2010 04:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Ask and you shall receive! Thanks for all the tips about the download of the Worcester show. I've got the mp3s now. My drive home for Memorial Day Weekend just got a whole lot better. Thanks again all!


At 5/28/2010 04:24:00 PM, Anonymous Chris from Québec City said...

Is it just me who think that Neil is actually recording the album live.Does he play the new songs exactly the same every night?Give me your thoughts.
P.S. as always pardon my english.

At 5/28/2010 04:25:00 PM, Anonymous zuma said...

The Worcester recordings are excellent, and only reinforce how powerful the material and presentation was and is and will be. Average out those Knoxville prices and you get $129. I still challenge the crybabies to say what the price should have been. $100? $75? $25?

At 5/28/2010 05:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it becomes a live album that would be really cool ... reminiscent of TFA ...

At 5/28/2010 05:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My take on all this.

I loved the show, and if Neil goes to Seattle, Portland, or Vancouver, in the future, I will fly out there to see it again, with my sister who lives there. I loved how the re-verbs, and base notes, viberated my heart and lungs, and how he pulled so much sound and feeling, out of those guitars. But my real love of this man, is his voice, intermingled with blowing that harmonica, echoing a sound, from this man's soul. The Japanese of the 1940's considered Hirohito, a living god, but they were wrong, they never saw Neil Young.

Joe Kelly

At 5/28/2010 09:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"God is a concept from which we measure our pain."

- Johnny Moondog

At 5/28/2010 10:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'by which we meassure'

At 5/28/2010 10:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been hittin' the sauce again...but my spelling's good!


At 5/29/2010 07:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 5/29/2010 08:01:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worcester download... thanks for that and also for making it easy for us non techies to deal with it.

At 5/29/2010 12:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Todd, I hope you are sitting near me, so I don't have to say shut the fuck up. Us southerners tend to be more noisy that our Northern neighbors, but I hope I am wrong. I can't tell you how many times I have been to shows sitting behind people talking, texting, showing photos to their friends? I don't get it? You pay big bucks to see a show and then don't pay attention to it? I am hoping it will be an older crown and they will behave here in Atlanta tonight, but if that does not happen I hope Todd tells them to STFU as promised.

At 5/29/2010 12:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I meant crowd not crown...

At 5/29/2010 01:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just checked ticket master and there are still tickets available in Atlanta, row AA 112 and 113 for a total of $290.30, wish I had those, ours are up 2nd dress..

At 5/30/2010 07:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure, what's going on with the negativity in some of these comments. Was I even at the same concert as some of you?! Here is an edited comment from my post, yesterday on Rust List:

From the start of the concert, I felt Neil seemed a bit disengaged from the audience. & don't get me wrong I enjoyed every minute of the concert. It was PURE NEIL & he rocked. But, I have been to Neil concerts in the past & his mood was definitely different. I understand he is dealing w/ many personal issues & possibly that is part of this whole tour. Others have commented that some people yelled out frequently during the show (as they always do) & ok, maybe it was a little irritating. None of this took away how awesome his music was that night. His old songs, all of them, are exceptional versions in this SOLO TOUR. I liked most of his new songs, especially "Walk With Me", I liked it the first time I heard it, liked it more after the concert experience. The BEST part of the concert: was the intense feeling & I DO MEAN FEELing of some of the songs actually entering your body (noted most on "Down By the River"). I did feel it, from the floor, into my feet up to my shoulders, it captured me. How did he do that? I want MORE!! I was seated 2nd row...not sure if all "felt" that intensity, I hope so, tho, because that was it...that was NEIL, coming at you, getting a hold of you, getting YOU. Loved it. His only encore song "Walk With ME", in my opinion, was a nice way to end a show, that no real fan, would ever want to end. But get real, ALL concerts MUST end. So, I guess I could analyze every little thing, including the ticket prices, length of the concert, and song choices, but in the end, I'd still have the same conclusion. I loved it, glad I could experience it, I want more...Neil f'ing ROCKED!! & ...NO REGRETS here! Thanks for the memories, Neil! ♥
~ jane


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